What do Prototypes Prototype?

Should the guiding questions be on every card or just one “set” card?

  • This is an important question to answer because it defines how the game is played, and how users approach each new round. If there is a moderator that reads out each new question when the round starts, players won’t be able o anticipate answers for future rounds. However, if every card has the guiding questions, then they may strategically plan their answers (if they have the adjacent word) to maximize their chance of winning or guessing the word.
  • To test this we could make a Look and Feel prototype (although it could also have an element of Role Prototype) as we want to test different concrete experiences of the artifact. We could have two versions of the game: 1) All player cards have guiding questions 2) Player cards have just the word, and there is an additional card with the guiding questions that only the moderator of the round has access to
  • I think the first version will work best (all players have the questions) as it would make the game simpler to play. Everyone knows what is coming and has access to the information beforehand. There is no need to have a “moderator”. However, it would be interesting to see if the “moderator” of the round makes up random questions (if they are bad) to try to guess the word. 


Should we have a category word or adjacent word?

  • This is an important question to answer because it is the main dynamic of the game and in a way sets the difficulty. Maybe having an adjacent word makes it too easy for the “bad” team to guess the main word, whereas a category word might make it a bit more balanced.
  • To test this we could make an implementation prototype where we have one version with a category word and another with an adjacent word. 
  • I think the “adjacent” word will work best as it gives the “bad” team a hint as to what the other team has, without revealing too much.


How many players should be on the “bad team:

  • This is an important question to ask because it sets the feel of the game. If the bad team has only one person, it feels like an “all against one” whereas if the bad player has someone else on the team, there is an added dynamic of finding out who that is, and teaming with the, to win.
  • To test this we could make an implementation prototype and have games with different numbers of “adjacent” cards per set.
  • I believe that having two adjacent words per set would make the game very interesting and would add an extra dynamic to the game. However, we would have to think about how this scales as the number of players increases or decreases. (game must be balanced)


How many rounds should the players have?

  • This is a very important question to answer because it sets both the length and difficulty of the game. If we give too many guided questions (aka rounds) then the “bad” team has a higher chance of guessing the main word as they are able to learn more about it. Also, how should the number of rounds scale with the number of players?
  • To test this we could make an implementation prototype where players play a different number of rounds and observe how balanced the game is.
  • I think all cards should have 5 guided questions but the number of questions played in a round should be based on the number of players. Maybe n – 3 rounds (where n is the number of players) would work best. For example, if there are 5 players, there should 2 rounds. This would mean that a max of 8 and a minimum of 4 players could play the game.

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